Up In Smoke

Photo prompt © Dawn M Miller
Photo prompt © Dawn M Miller

“C’mon lazy, get off your butt.”

Andrea poked her brother Herschel in the shoulder as he lay sprawled on the couch.

“Stop it Andy, you’re harshing my buzz,” complained Herschel.

“That’s the point,” she replied. “I’m not going to have you getting high and lying around all day like you did at mom and dad’s. In fact…” Andrea grabbed the tall glass smoking unit that sat on the coffee table next to her indolent sibling.

“Hey now, what…” began Herschel.

“I’m locking this up until you can show me that you’re going to be productive around here,” she said, walking off with Herschel favorite possession. “Now, get some shoes on, you’re going shopping with me.”

For the next several hours Herschel lugged sundry packages from stores to his sister’s SUV. Eventually she stopped to admire a collection of chimeneas outside a small shop.

“Oh, I’ve always wanted one of these,” she exclaimed. “It would be perfect for entertaining on the patio.”

Herschel groaned. It looked heavy.

Several days later Andrea searched the house for her brother to give him his list of daily tasks. She eventually found him on the patio, stretched out on a lounge chair holding a long tube attached to a device that Herschel had affixed atop her chimenea. She smelled a rich, sweet smoke permeating the air. Herschel took a puff with a grin spreading across his face.

“Heeeeey, sis, wassup?”

Andrea rushed to her new clay fireplace and took a whiff.

“What did you do?” she cried, glaring at her brother.

“You never gave my bong back so I rewarded myself with this awesome hookah you bought. You’re the best, Andy!”

[This is my entry into the Sunday Photo Fiction challenge, hosted by Alastair Forbes. Write a short story of 200 words or less from the photo prompt provided. I went over the limit this week but either due to laziness (No, I don’t own a bong or hookah) or perhaps just because I liked the story as it was, I chose not to edit it down. I hope everyone liked it.]

~V

If It Ain’t Broke

© A Mixed Bag
© A Mixed Bag

“One martini, two martini, three martini four,” chanted Elijah with slurred but measured speech. “There’s nothing the day can throw at you that a good drink can’t fix!”

He plunked himself down on the couch without spilling a drop while ignoring Rosie’s intent glare.

“Drunk already?” Rosie asked. “Why am I not surprised?”

The question was rhetorical but Elijah replied, “Because my dear, you know everything. At least, that’s what you’re always saying.”

“Father said you’d never amount to…”

Elijah cut her off.

“Yes, your father knew even more than you, didn’t he? What a fount of wisdom he was.”

“Leave my father out of this,” Rosie cried.

“But you brought hi…” Elijah hiccupped, “Him up.”

The two stared at each other in practiced silence. Their faces were stone. Finally, Rosie turned and stormed from the room.

Young Alexander, who’d been sitting quietly the during this exchange found the courage to speak.

“I had no idea you had such a terrible marriage. Have you considered divorce?”

Elijah responded, “Terrible marriage? Divorce? Are you mad? I love that woman more than words can express. Who else would tolerate an obnoxious drunk like me?”

Elijah laughed heartily as he downed his drink.

Word Count: 200

[This is my entry into the Sunday Photo Fiction challenge, hosted by Alastair Forbes. Write a short story of 200 words or less from the photo prompt provided.

This wasn’t so much a story as just practice writing some dialogue so forgive me for that. I just couldn’t get Elijah and Rosie out of my head. Their brief exchange wouldn’t allow any other stories to come through so I decided to give them a spotlight for a moment.]

 

The Disco At the End of the Universe

© A Mixed Bag
© A Mixed Bag

From the balcony, Rose surveyed the room. Men with silk shirts unbuttoned halfway down their gold medallion covered chests, undulated next to beautiful women in short dresses that revealed extraordinary amounts of cleavage. Multi-colored lights reflected off of a large, rotating many-faceted mirrored ball, suspended from the ceiling.

Bobbing her head to the rhythmic beat of the loud music, she turned to her older companion.

“So this was disco, huh?”

The Doctor winced. “Yeah, not humanities finest hour, but it was fun while it lasted.”

“And you’re sure the power crystals are here?” Rose asked.

“The TARDIS indicated they were,” The Doctor replied, pulling out a short, cylindrical device. He pressed a button and it whirred, almost in time with the music.

He pointed. “There.”

Rose looked and saw the three glowing star-shaped orbs. They’d been set into light fixtures in the ceiling.

“But they’re glowing. Does that mean they’re…”

“Activated yes. Which explains the temporal stasis field they’ve generated around this club.”

“So then this disco will just keep playing music and people will dance forever?” Rose asked.

“That’s right,” replied The Doctor.

“Couldn’t we just… you know… leave them?” she asked, gyrating her hips.

The Doctor leaned in close.

“You’ve heard of the Big Bang, right?”

“Sure,” she replied.

“The last time all the crystals were activated, that’s what happened,” he said

Rose stopped dancing. “Right then. Let’s go.”

[This is my entry into the Sunday Photo Fiction challenge, hosted by Alastair Forbes. Write a short story of 200 words or less from the photo prompt provided. I went a bit over the word limit and the story doesn’t really have much of an ending so I apologize for that. I don’t write much fan fiction (barely any at all) so this was my attempt at practicing for a project I’m working on. I hope you’ll all indulge me as I work out the bugs. And yes, the title is an homage to the wonderful Douglas Adams.]

~V

 

The Art of Growing Affection

© A Mixed Bag
© A Mixed Bag

Marmadas Twofoot fumed as he stomped up the walkway to the door of his home. Each hairy foot slammed down as though he were angry with the ground itself.

How dare she? he asked himself as he grasped the doorknob of the round portal that led into the cozy interior of his hobbit hole.

Marmadas had just returned from the market in Loamsdown where Ruby Gardner had told him that his tomatoes had worms. Worms! What did she know? Her cucumbers were shriveled and her carrots limp and he’d told her as much quite loudly. Their shouting match had been quite the spectacle.

He set his basket of tomatoes down on the floor in his kitchen.  He remembered how she’d called him a big-nosed lout, her soft cheeks glowing pink and how her hair had billowed in the breeze as she informed everyone his vegetables were unfit to eat. He recalled the way her breasts heaved as she ranted about how his crops were an embarrassment; the worst in the Shire.

He reached for a tomato and just before biting it, noticed something wriggling on the surface: A worm.

Marmadas grinned. He couldn’t wait to see her again next week.

Word Count: 200

[This is my entry into the Sunday Photo Fiction challenge, hosted by Alastair Forbes. Write a short story of 200 words or less from the photo prompt provided.]

~V

The Secret Ingredient

© A Mixed Bag
© A Mixed Bag

Jenny glanced at the painted words stretched across the side of the old bridge as she and Bryan drove underneath.

“The Pies?” she frowned.

Bryan shrugged. “Ya got me. Maybe some clever local advertising?”

Five minutes later they approached Wilhelmine’s Diner. “Best Homemade Meat Pies in Plainfield” it read underneath her sign.

Jenny grinned at Bryan. “Wanna stop for some pie?”

[12 hours earlier]

Amanda dragged herself through the brush near the old bridge. The deep gash on her leg was allowing an exodus of blood. She knew she didn’t have long. The can of spray paint in her hand that she’d used to burn George and escape was all she had now, having lost her lighter. While she remained conscious, she decided to put the paint to it’s proper use.

Leaning over the edge of the bridge, she sprayed the words “Don’t Eat The Pies”. As she finished, a twig snapped. George loomed above her with meat cleaver in hand. Amanda knew he’d finish what he started when she and her husband had stopped to eat at Wilhelmine’s.

The diner’s proprietor always used fresh meat for her pastries and unsuspecting tourists provided a bountiful supply.

Word Count: 198

[This is my entry into the Sunday Photo Fiction challenge, hosted by Alastair Forbes. Write a short story of 200 words or less from the photo prompt provided.]

~V

The Vanishing Box

© A Mixed Bag
© A Mixed Bag

The three wine glasses on the table were filled with different amounts of colored liquid. The magician gave a practiced flourish and the liquid in the glasses began to tilt sideways. The audience gasped.

“It’s all done with mirrors,” said Walter loud enough so that the people sitting around him all heard.

“Shush,” scolded his wife Abigail.

“He’s actually tilting the table but it appears…”

“I mean it, Walter. No one wants to hear,” she hissed.

With each illusion, Walter couldn’t help describing how the trick worked. More audience members began joining Abigail in shushing the annoying loudmouth.

“For my next trick, I’ll need a volunteer from the audience,” replied the magician. He scanned the crowd and then pointed at Walter. “How about… you sir!”

“Me?” asked Walter. “You bet!”

Walter hurried to the stage excited to debunk the next trick while all eyes were upon him.

After introductions and the usual banter, the magician brought out a large upright box and asked Walter to step inside.

The music built to a crescendo as the magician twirled the box and then stopped and whisked the door open, revealing it’s empty contents. The crowd roared with approval.

When the applause died, the magician called out to Abigail.

“Don’t worry, ma’am. I’ll bring your husband back.”

Abigail shouted back. “Could you wait until tomorrow morning?”

The crowd gave her a standing ovation.

[This is my entry into the Sunday Photo Fiction challenge, hosted by Alastair Forbes. Write a short story of 200 words or less from the photo prompt provided.]

~V

 

Mr. Adventure

© A Mixed Bag
© A Mixed Bag

The first sensation Johnny noticed was a gentle swaying motion, like lying in a hammock. Opening his eyes, he took in his surroundings. Around him were flat surfaces. He was encapsulated inside some kind of box and he was lying on his back.

Before he could sit up, a face appeared above him. It took a moment for Johnny to realize he knew this face.

He frowned. “Tracy?”

“Welcome back, hero,” said the face.

Slowly, Johnny sat up. “What happened?”

“You don’t remember?”

Johnny tried to assemble his thoughts. He was with Tracy and they were… at a theme park: Future World. He’d begged her to accompany him to this new park for months. She’d finally consented.

Johnny loved technology and adventure. This park seemed like a dream come true. But how had he ended up on the floor of… whatever this was?

“Well, ‘Mr. Adventure’, we got into the cable cars and once we got to the high point, you hit the floor like a sack of potatoes.” she said.

Johnny lifted himself back into the seat.

“That’s ridiculous. I’m not afraid of…”

Johnny looked out the window at the landscape of the park laid out before him. His vision became blurred and his head began to spin. As he lost consciousness for a second time, he could hear Tracy’s voice, as if coming from a long distance.

“Oh great, not again!”

[This is my entry into the Sunday Photo Fiction challenge, hosted by Alastair Forbes. Write a short story of 200 words or less from the photo prompt provided.]

~V

False Advertising

© A Mixed Bag
© A Mixed Bag

Johnny stared glumly out the window of the small box in which he and Tracy were encapsulated. Just outside were other boxes containing people, most with the same bored expression that hung on Johnny’s face. Each box had a large metal hook arm that sprouted from the top and clung tightly to a long cable suspended a few hundred feet in the air. The cable was stretched across the entire park and each box slowly traversed the length of the cable, carting along it’s passengers.

“This isn’t what I expected when I heard they had ‘Flying Cars’,” sighed Johnny.

“Oh, c’mon,” said Tracy. “It’s not so bad.”

Turning to her he said, “And that ‘Matter Transporter’ was nothing more than a conveyer belt. Talk about false advertising!”

“What did you expect from a theme park called ‘Future World’?” she asked. “Not actual future tech, surely?”

“Well…” said Johnny as they stepped off the ride and headed for the park exit.

Spying a small booth near the exit gates, Johnny noticed that it seemed rather beat up and didn’t follow the same color scheme as the rest of the park. Despite his disappointment, curiosity got the best of him and Johnny felt himself drawn in. As he approached, he saw a short, white-haired man behind the counter. The fellow had a pair of large goggles strapped over his eyes and he appeared to be fussing with what looked like a small, electronic Howitzer.

“Whatcha got there, old timer?” Johnny asked.

“What? Oh!” said the man, looking up and noticing he had guests. “Right, uh… So what I have here is a transmogrifier. It can change any living being into another type of creature.”

“Oh really?” inquired Johnny. He winked at Tracy.

“Could you turn me into a dragon?” he asked.

“Certainly!” said the old man, his eyes lighting up. “You’d really want to give this a try? No one ever seems to want to volunteer.”

“Why not?” asked Johnny with a grin. “This whole park has been a sham. I’d love to see if anyone has anything really amazing.”

“Oh, I assure you, young man. This is quite real and quite effective. You certainly won’t be disappointed.”

“Hey uh… maybe you shouldn’t,” said Tracy, grabbing her boyfriend’s arm. She regarded the old man with a furrowed brow.

“Oh why not?” asked Johnny, feeling his excitement return.

“It could be… dangerous,” said Tracy, whispering the last word into his ear.

“In this place?” asked Johnny, waving his arms about. “Yeah, I don’t think so.”

“I’ll need you to stand right over there,” said the old man, pointing to a platform with a conspicuous bullseye painted on it.

As Johnny placed himself in the center ring on the platform, the old man began flipping switches and turning dials on the big gun-shaped device.

“Dragon… dragon…” muttered the old man. “Ah, yes, I think this is it!”

Johnny grinned and waved to Tracy, who stood nearby wringing her hands.

“Johnny, I really don’t think this is a good idea,” she pleaded one last time.

“Stand perfectly still,” instructed the old man, aiming directly at Johnny’s chest.

A humming emitted from the device. It grew louder and lights began to dance around some of the circuitry. The humming increased in volume and other park visitors began to take notice. A small crowd formed behind Tracy.

She opened her mouth to utter another warning but before she could speak a word, a brilliant beam of light shot out of the tip of the gun and hit Johnny, bathing him in a glowing blue radiance. The light was so intense, Tracy threw up her hands in front of her eyes to shield them.

The humming stopped. Tracy slowly lowered her hands, but it took a moment for her eyes to adjust. Behind her, she heard a collective gasp from the crowd. In front of her she heard the old man cackling.

“It worked, it worked!”

Tracy turned to the platform, not really expecting to see a dragon standing there, but still wondering what was causing the commotion.

She squinted her eyes. Johnny was gone!

“Where is he?” she screamed. “Where did he go?”

“Oh fudge!” replied the old man, turning back to his machine.

“What did you do with my boyfriend?” Tracy yelled at the old man.

As she approached the counter, stomach in knots, there came a loud buzzing around her face. She swatted with her hand and saw a large winged insect hovering in front of her. It then landed on the counter between her and the white-haired man.

The old man regarded the insect and shook his head.

“Oh dear, it seems I had the wrong setting on the transmogrifier. It wasn’t set to dragon after all. Looks like it was ‘dragonfly’. Such a shame. I would have loved to have seen a real dragon.”

Tracy stared at the long-tailed insect before her.

“That’s Johnny?” she squawked.

“I told you that my machine was real,” shrugged the old man.

The dragonfly took wing and buzzed around Tracy for a moment before flying off into the sky. As she watched her boyfriend disappear, she realized he finally got the future tech he had been searching for.

[This was my first story for Sunday Photo Fiction, but since I went way over the word limit, I’m not offering it in the challenge, but still publishing it here because I rather like how this story turned out.]

~V

 

Going in Circles

© A Mixed Bag
© A Mixed Bag

“Ugh,” grunted Megan, fanning her face. “It’s so hot out here. Why didn’t you bring an umbrella like everyone else?”

“What?” asked Evan, tearing his eyes off the multi-chromatic cars speeding around the track.

“I’m hot!” she said.

Evan shrugged. “Do you want a sip of my beer?” he asked, holding up his half-filled plastic cup.

“No, I want to go home,” she said. “This is so stupid. The cars just keep going around in circles. They finish right where they start. What’s the point of that?”

“It’s called racin’,” he said, turning his attention back to the race.

Megan watched as the vehicles rounded the corner. Around and around. She began to realize her life had become like the race. Evan had no ambition. He seemed content to live in their trailer, scraping by and dulling himself with beer. He’d convinced her to quit school and take a job at the grocery store.

Around and around. She wanted so much more.

Standing, she turned to leave the grandstand.

“Where you goin’?” Evan asked.

“I’m sorry, Evan, but you were just a pit stop. It’s time I got back into my own race again.” Megan said walking away.

Word Count: 198

[This is my entry into the Sunday Photo Fiction challenge, hosted by Alastair Forbes. Write a short story of 200 words or less from the photo prompt provided.]

~V

Executive Decision

SPF-4-24-16

“Sheriff Braxton, I just got word that rustlers have stolen over a hundred head of cattle out at the Dugan ranch!” cried Freddy Kruger. “Should we round up a posse?”

“No need, Deputy Kruger,” replied the Sheriff. “I’ll handle it myself.”

He strapped on his holster and checked the M-19 Plasma pistol that hung inside. Fully charged. With a tip of his hat he strode out of the dusty sheriff’s office.

Outside, his trusty dinosaur mount was tied to the hitching post.

“C’mon, Rex, time to ride,” he said, climbing into the saddle.

The dinosaur sprouted wings and flew off into the purple sky. The Sheriff slipped the One Ring onto his finger. Best to be invisible so the rustlers don’t see me comin‘, he thought.

Don Archer, assistant manager at the local burger joint stared at the scene in the dining area. Customers were prancing around, babbling about dinosaurs and unicorns and angels while climbing all over the chairs and tables.

“What the holy Hell?” he exclaimed.

Terrance, the fry cook came to the front. “Oh jeez,” he said.

“Oh jeez, what?” asked Don.

“Well, we ran out of mushrooms for our new burger so I used some I found in a plastic baggie in Paulie’s coat pocket.”

“Paulie the Pothead?” asked Don, wide-eyed.

Terrance never got that promotion he’d been hoping for.

[This is my entry into the Sunday Photo Fiction challenge, hosted by Alastair Forbes. Write a short story of 200 words or less from the photo prompt provided.

I dedicate this story to my nephew Braxton who loves to do Cowboy StuffAnd don’t do drugs. Drugs are bad, M’kay? 😉 ]

~V

It’s About Time

SPF-4-17-16

“Hey Uncle Rick, this grandfather clock is broken. It’s stuck on 1:47,” said Morty as his uncle tinkered away in his workshop.

“It’s not broken, Morty. It’s not meant to keep time. I modified it to control time.”

“Control it? How?” asked Morty.

“I can stop time from flowing or even reverse it if I want,” replied Uncle Rick as soldering smoke curled around his face.

“Wow, so do you ever use it?” asked Morty, eyeing the old time-piece.

“Yeah, almost every day. Sometimes, I’ll stop time and take a nap or work on a project, but mostly I just walk around town and collect cash from people’s wallets and purses.” said Uncle Rick.

“Y…y… you steal from people?” gasped Morty.”

“I don’t steal, Morty. I’m not a thief. I take… involuntary donations for my work. My inventions help people, Morty. Geez.” said Rick looking at his nephew for the first time.

“But that’s wrong. You can’t do that. I won’t let you!”

“Oh please, it’s not a big deal,” shrugged Rick.

“I… I’ll call the police… or something.”

“Ok, ok, fine. I won’t take any more money,” sighed Uncle Rick.

“P…promise?”

“Yeah yeah… now go get me a beer from the fridge, will ya? I’m parched.” said Uncle Rick.

“Uh… Ok, sure,” said Marty.

After he left the workshop, Uncle Rick walked to the grandfather clock and opened the side panel to reveal several knobs and buttons. He pressed a button and made a slight twist of one of the knobs. The light around him blurred. He pressed the button again and everything came back into focus. He returned to his workbench where the soldering he’d just finished was now incomplete again.

Morty came walking into the room. The grandfather clock caught his eye.

“Hey Uncle Rick, this grandfather clock is broken. It’s stuck on 1:47,”

“Yep,” said Uncle Rick. “It sure is.”

[This is my entry into the Sunday Photo Fiction challenge, hosted by Alastair Forbes. Write a short story of 200 words or less from the photo prompt provided. I decided to pay another visit to my favorite mad scientist and his well-meaning but naive nephew. You can check out other stories with these two in The Road to Hell is Paved With Good Inventions and Seeing Double]

~V

Birth Announcement

© A Mixed Bag
© A Mixed Bag

The foot from the first child to disappear was found floating in a water-filled ditch near the old drainage pipe on the outskirts of town only a few days after her family reported her missing. The local police spent the next several weeks investigating the murder with few leads and no results.

When young Henry Barton vanished from his bed a month later, the townsfolk started speaking of a serial killer and the local paper wasn’t kind to those that were investigating the crimes. Words like “incompetent” and “bumbling” were used and the chief of police felt the public pressure to find the killer.

It wasn’t until the fourth child went missing that the police realized all the kidnappings were occurring on the night before the full moon. When the press got wind of this, stories of “ritual killings” and “demonic cults” began appearing on the front page.

Less than exemplary police work led them to Carl Booker, a local butcher and former resident of Memorial Oaks Psychiatric Hospital. While no physical evidence was ever found, both the police and the public were satisfied the killer had been caught. The night after his arrest, the people of Terrance, Illinois rested peacefully.

Two nights before the next full moon, two glowing eyes peered out of the drainage pipe. Tomorrow night it would hunt again. This time it would have to bring home far more fresh meat than before. On the night of the full moon, the large, squirming egg sac that hung in the chamber deep in the sewer where it had been living would burst and hundreds of it’s young would crawl forth, famished and requiring sustenance.

The creature knew it’s family wouldn’t starve. It had found a plentiful supply of food.

[This is my entry into the Sunday Photo Fiction challenge, hosted by Alastair Forbes. Write a short story of 200 words or less from the photo prompt provided. I went over the word count today but I felt the story need the extra room to breathe.]

~V

The Darker Side of Daylight

© A Mixed Bag
© A Mixed Bag

Larry perspired profusely in the sweltering mid afternoon sun, despite the gentle breeze that blew through the park. It was almost as if that weird comet passing by the earth was cranking up the thermometer. The scientists on the news had warned that it was emitting bursts of strange radiation. People had been warned to stay inside while it passed. Larry had scoffed at that. He never missed his daily walk.

With the sun at his back, he glanced of his shadow. Frowning, he noticed a tail protruding from his backside. He spun around, trying to spot whatever was causing the illusion. Just trees and park benches. When he returned his gaze, he saw the tail had disappeared, but now there were two strange spikes atop his shadow’s head, like horns. His hands felt his scalp. Nothing. He checked behind him again. The scene remained the same.

Puzzled he turned back and gasped. Only grass greeted him. He no longer cast a shadow.

How?

Larry felt a cold stinging on his legs. His heart beat wildly in his chest. Slowly he cast his eyes downward.

Larry screamed at what crawled up his leg. He’d found his shadow.

Word Count: 197

[This is my entry into the Sunday Photo Fiction challenge, hosted by Alastair Forbes. Write a short story of 200 words or less from the photo prompt provided.]

~V

True Calling

SPF-3-27-16

“Well,” asked Liam with a flourish of his hands. “What do you think?”

“Are you serious?” asked Nigel, gawking at the double-decker, crimson monstrosity parked in his driveway. “That’s our new tour bus?”

“Hey, I got it cheap at auction.” said Liam. “It’s got plenty of room for the equipment. We’ll just hang a sign with the band name on the sides.”

For three months during the summer of ’89 brothers Liam and Nigel traveled England playing in pub after pub with their band “Mirage”. Each venue contained fewer patrons than the last.

Sitting inside the bus one night after a lackluster gig, vocalist Liam grudgingly confessed to the band that they were broke and didn’t even have enough cash to pay for the petrol back to Manchester.

“So now what?” asked Nigel sourly.

The rest of the band said nothing.

A rapping on the bus door broke the uncomfortable silence.

Opening the door, Liam saw a large group of Asian people with cameras all strung around their necks.

“Uh, excuse me,” the man in the front of the crowd said, stepping forward. “Is your bus in service for a sightseeing tour?”

Liam grinned and welcomed the group on board.

“Mates, we have our gas money!” he beamed.

* * *

“And that, children, is how your grandpa and your great Uncle Liam started the Mirage Tour Company,” Nigel said, looking down at the kids gathered around his chair.

Word Count: 235

[This is my entry into the Sunday Photo Fiction challenge, hosted by Alastair Forbes. Write a short story of 200 words or less from the photo prompt provided.

My apologies for running over on the word count and also for using such a cliché description of Asian tourist. I got lazy.]

~V

The Body (or An Unfortunate Way to Win a Bet)

SPF-3-20-16

“I bet he’s hiding a dead body in there,” said Fred.

“Why would he have a dead body in his shed,” asked Ted.

“Cuz that the sort of place you’d hide a dead body. No one would think to look there,” replied Fred.

“That’s not what I meant,” said Ted. “I was asking why would Mr. Carmichael have a dead body at all?”

“Rich people always have skeletons in their closets,” responded Fred.

“Have you gone soft in the head?” asked Ted. “That’s an expression. It doesn’t literally mean they have skeletons!”

“I know what it means!” shouted Fred. “But I’m tellin’ you, he’s probably hiding a body in there.” He pointed to the tall brick building with the high windows and corrugated metal doors.

“And who might he have in there, since you’re the expert?” asked Ted.

“I don’t know. Unfaithful wife, maybe? Mistress? Some bloke trying to blackmail him?” shrugged Fred.

“You’re daft. If they ever find a body in there, I’ll buy you rounds all night long,” scoffed Ted.

Four days later, Ted and Fred watched the police haul out the body from the shed on a stretcher. The beer flowed steadily at the pub that night.

Word Count: 200

[This is my entry into the Sunday Photo Fiction challenge, hosted by Alastair Forbes. Write a short story of 200 words or less from the photo prompt provided.]

~V